Something’s Manifesting

By Jocelyn Grosse

“Art is a lie that helps us realize the truth.”
– Pablo Picasso

Those are the words I could choose to help me describe the 1999 Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduation Exhibition. The pieces in The Something Manifesto include mediums ranging from studio photography, oil and acrylic painting, and clay and metal sculpture.

Although it is difficult for some to see photography as art, the pieces in the Nickle Arts museum stand as art works on their own. The colour photographs in the series by Thomas Johnson pull you in and twist a story in your mind. One photograph that stands out is Witchery: The unicorn amphitheatre. It’s dark, mysterious shadows left a deep impression on me.

Many of the paintings in Something… use blends of colour, creating a dreamlike tone. A painting called Among the trees is a great example of this. At first glance, the trees look like a cross between the styles of Dr. Suess and the Group of Seven. Yet, when you look deeper, and see more of the colours, they create the effect of images dancing. The Christa Brask painting You and me, reminds one of the blurred style Monet used while he was losing his eyesight. A similar style is found in the haunting images of Erin Laxdul’s Three sides. The sides are in fact three sides of a woman, exuding feelings of loneliness and solitude.

One of the outstanding paintings in The Something… is Gaela Tombe’s Flying. Her canvas produces a magical effect with the figures of a dove in flight. The fluttering wings against a dark blue canvas give the effect of a creature in motion, reminiscent of Richard Bach’s character, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Something…offers scuplture, including Roberta Bishop’s Scrap shalott steel, a work resembling a modern day daffinci. Another piece, Stump, seems alive with its metal is planted on the museum floor. The tree-like statues grab your attention with twisting wires. They leave a haunting image reminiscent of the machine worlds of The Matrix and Metropolis.

Another show from the Department of art is taking place on the sixth floor of the arts parkade. Real painting by Mary Arnatt, includes paintings that are bright in colour and mood. Arnatt uses a colourful style exuding a child-like innocence. Her work reminds us of the paintings we’ve done in our childhoods.

Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

The Something Manifesto Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduating Exhibition 1999 is at the Nickle Arts Museum until June 12. Real painting runs at the Little Art Gallery in the Department of Art until May 28.

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